I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson on several occasions, during many different seasons. One of the major conclusions I’ve come to is that there is no wrong time to enjoy this picturesque horse ranch. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, there’s always something to do. Additionally, one of the things I love most about Tanque Verde, is that many of the packages offered for families and kids are tailored to different ages and levels of horsemanship. 

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For families that may have different comfort levels when it comes to horseback riding — good news — there are multiple options to consider. For children who may be too young, or not yet ready to venture out on the trails, Tanque Verde has a kids camp packed with daily activities. For those eager to ride, but in need of a bit of instruction, the ranch also offers a variety of riding lessons for children and adults (of varying skill levels). 

When you and the family are ready to saddle up, I 100% recommend the breakfast ride. After a beautiful desertscape trail ride, you’re treated to a delicious blueberry pancake breakfast. After your fill of flapjacks, cowboy scrambled eggs, bacon and other morning rations, you get one more ride down the hill on your designated horse. 

Another must-try is the Cowboy Cookout held on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Here, you get to listen to live music, enjoy true ranch favorites like smoked brisket, baked beans, mac and cheese and cobbler. You will likely even spy a javelina (or two!) — don’t worry — the wranglers are adept at keeping these dinner guests at a safe distance.  

Beyond horse rides and cookouts, there is so much more to enjoy at Tanque Verde Ranch, including archery, fishing, silversmith workshops, and that’s just a small list. Plus, there’s an outdoor and indoor pool, hot tub and ample grounds to explore — including a nature center (with some fun creatures inside). Each week, a new schedule of offerings/events is posted on the website, so you can easily plan which activities you’d like to attend. 

On my most recent visit, I went to the property’s spa for the first time and had one of the best massages I’ve had in my life to date! In addition to custom facials, you can opt for an End of the Trail Massage, Wrangler Deep Tissue Sports Massage, or Rincon Rock Massage (among others). Or, indulge in a body treatment such as the Desert Tropics, Sonora Refresh or Blueberry Bliss experience. 

Whether you come for a solo retreat, a family getaway or a friend-group adventure, you can’t go wrong with a Tanque Verde visit. Plus, the property is also a perfect place to host a wedding, corporate meeting or other type of event. The more recently-built, 12,400-square-foot barn has become a steadfast hotspot with its 12,400 square-foot outdoor terrace — the barn accommodates up to 350 people. No matter when you come, or for what reason, you’ll learn like I have, how truly magical this southwest haven happens to be.